Spain: May 1529, 26-31

Pages 37-54

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 4 Part 1, Henry VIII, 1529-1530. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1879.

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May 1529, 26-31

26 May. 16. Margaret of Austria to the Emperor.
Arch. d. Royme, de
Belg. Doc. Hist.
No. 16,070,
f. 115.
Has received his letters by the Sieur de Rosymboz and Secretary Des Barres, as well as the powers and instructions for the meeting [at Cambray]. Would willingly have replied in her own hand to every one of the points contained in them had it not been for the insecurity of the roads, which will oblige her to have this present letter written out in cipher.
And first about the peace now in contemplation. Since the return of Rosymboz and of Secretary Des Barres, the Frenchman known as L'Eslû Bayart has come to inquire what the Emperor's intentions are, but as the instructions she (Margaret) has received refer to various ways and means of bringing about the said peace according to time and circumstances; as it was, moreover, doubtful whether the King of France and Madame d' Angousmois (Louise), seeing that the terms now proposed are very different from those offered on former occasions, would not withdraw their consent at once, she has, with the advice of the Cardinal, (fn. n1) of the Marquis Darschot (d' Aaarshot), the lords of Gavres, Buren, Reulx, Hooghestraten, Berghes, and Rosymboz, merely given a general answer to the said Bayard's question, and agreed with him that on the 15th of June next she (Margaret) and Madame d' Angousmois will meet at Cambray, there to discuss the preliminaries of a lasting peace, which she (Margaret) had no doubt would be easily obtained, provided the French King felt disposed to be as reasonable as the Emperor, &c.
On their passage through France the said Rosymboz and Secretary Des Barres were told by the King and his mother [Madame d' Angousmois], among other things, that as the English suspected that a peace was about to be negotiated, and had accordingly made certain overtures in connexion with it, it was important not to displease them, inasmuch as their assistance and co-operation would most certainly be required as regards the indemnity and the debts. He (the King) considered himself bound to inform the ambassadors of the proposed meeting, and advised that the same should be done on our side. To this end a memorandum, in the form of a letter addressed to the King of England, was drawn up, of which the above said Rosymboz and Secretary Des Barres brought a copy for approval. Bayard, however, says that since then the King and his mother have changed their mind, and decided to send Mons. de Bayonne [Du Bellay] to England with letters of credence for the King only, and therefore in order to keep the English in good humour, and not to give them further cause of hatred, Master Jehan le Sauch has, by the advice of this Council, been dispatched to the King of England to inform him of the appointed meeting, and signify at the same time that nothing shall be negotiated tending to impair the good and amicable relations between his country or the Empire, and no treaty concluded without his being comprised in it. (fn. n2) It must be said, however, that lest the Cardinal [of England] should wish to be present at the conferences, and thereby hinder or prevent in any way the conclusion of the treaty, the King of France and his mother have both expressed a wish that the meeting should take place as early as possible so as to prevent the said Cardinal from attending, which has been accordingly done. Has also written to the Prince of Orange [Philibert de Chalon], to the ambassador at Rome (Mai), and likewise to Antonio de Leyva, informing them of the intended meeting, and begging them to send as soon as possible, and without sparing trouble or money, such faithful reports about the state of Italy as may enable us to profit by our late successes in those parts, and conduct the negociations accordingly.
Respecting the Emperor's visit [to Italy], as it cannot but result in his glory and honour, as well as in the advancement of his personal interest, she (Margaret) has only to remark that its mere announcement has already given much pleasure to all the faithful servants and vassals of the Empire in these parts. And yet, though it cannot be doubted that the Emperor has carefully weighed the dangers and inconveniences of such a journey, and is fully prepared to meet them wherever they may rise, she does not hesitate to express her opinion about it, which is that such a journey ought never to be undertaken without plenty of means, money, provisions, and men: for when King Charles [the Eighth of France] arrived in Italy, intent upon the conquest of Naples, all people flocked under his standard, believing him to have much money with him, but when on his arrival at Rome he was found to be pennyless, and obliged to borrow money to feed his troops, all deserted him, and he had the greatest difficulty with the 5,000 or 6,000 men, who remained faithful, to fight his way back to France.
Money cannot be procured in Italy in the present state of that country, and as to reinforcements from Germany, it will be next to impossible to have any under two or three months time; for although there was some time ago a good number of lansquenets ready to take service, they have been waiting so long that, as Roghandorff writes, the King of France has been able to secure the services of most of them, besides which, if the infantry the Emperor intends taking with him from Spain is entirely composed, as may be presumed, of raw levies, it would not be safe for him to commit his person entirely to the keeping of the Germans. The Imperial army in Naples is so surrounded by enemies that it cannot be removed from that kingdom, and as to Antonio de Leyva, he has too much work on his hands at Milan to be of any use elsewhere, besides which the Italian bands under his orders cannot, as the Emperor knows full well, be trusted. In short, all things considered, and subject to the Emperor's superior wisdom, her opinion is that the embarkation ought to be suspended until the probable issue of the negociations at Cambray may be fairly surmised, as well as the precise time at which the lansquenets and men-at-arms will be ready to descend into Italy, for if, with God's help, the meeting takes place, and has a favourable termination, the Emperor will then be able to carry out his plans at less cost, and with greater chance of success. The French King being unable to help his allies in Italy, the Pope and the Venetians will soon come to terms, and everything will turn out well.
Such is her (Margaret's) advice after consulting the Cardinal, who knows Italy well, and Mons. de Berghes, one of the Emperor's oldest servants in these parts.
Should there be no news from her between the 15th and 20th of July, the Emperor may at once conclude that nothing has been settled between Madame d' Angosmois and her, for in such a case, the Emperor may be sure that no messenger from this country will be allowed to pass through France with the information. Every effort, however, will be made by sea or land to apprize the Emperor of the failure of the negociations, that he may take his own measures, and provide for the security of his own person and patrimonial estates.
In case of the King of France refusing to treat on the basis contained in the memorandum, the last instructions received prescribe that she (Margaret) is immediately to inform the Emperor of the objections raised that he may fully consider the same and, if convenient, modify his terms. But in her humble opinion such a course is now impracticable, for the said Madame d' Angosmois will never consent to make a long stay at Cambray, and for the contracting parties to separate whilst awaiting the Emperor's answer would be an awkward and dangerous proceeding, as events might happen in the meantime to disturb the present favourable state of affairs. Besides which His Imperial Majesty may be sure that the moment King Francis loses all hope of a speedy settlement, he is sure to send a fresh army into Italy, whilst England and the Italian confederates, who, as is well known, cannot tolerate the idea of the announced visit, will do everything in their power to prevent the same. Indeed, the Bishop of Burgos [Don Iñigo de Mendoça] writes to say that the King of the former country has lately sent the Duke of Suffolk to France for the express purpose of encouraging Francis to keep aloof; and has also remitted large sums of money to Italy, with which to help and assist the confederates in case King Francis could not be persuaded to refuse all overtures for peace, and send another army to Italy. For if he does, and obtains some advantage, however small, the King of France will naturally wish to profit by it; peace will be delayed, and the Emperor obliged to accept the same on terms much worse than the present. Even supposing he obtained no advantage over the Imperial arms, there is still a danger to be incurred; the King might spend in Italy the whole or part of the money set apart for the ransom of his two sons, and thus be prevented from accepting peace.
The above is perhaps the chief difficulty, but there are other considerations no less weighty, such as the surrender of the towns and fortresses taken by the French and by the confederates in the kingdom of Naples, some of which the Venetians actually hold. It is to be hoped that King Francis will act honourably, and that Gaeta, now held by Renzo da Ceri in his name, will be speedily surrendered, but what the Venetians themselves hold will not be so easily recovered; for in the first place the Signory has nothing to do with the present peace, and though it is stipulated in her treaty with France that, if required for the ends of peace, Venice shall surrender every fortress and town taken during the last war, no persuasions of the King will induce the Venetians to give up the very rod with which they are to be scourged. She (Margaret) knows very well that the surrender of the fortresses is a thing which touches the Emperor's honour and reputation, and that were peace to be concluded without such surrender it would be a costly undertaking to recover them, whereas, if an agreement be made with the kings of France and England, it stands to reason that the Venetians, rather than stand aloof, and make war single-handed, will accept the peace offered to them from fear of being treated as they were at Cambray, in 1508, during the reign of Maximilian. Should they still persevere in their purpose, the fortresses might then be recovered from them at less cost and with more security than from the whole League. Has, therefore, thought of one expedient, among others, to avoid this difficulty, which is to stipulate a clause by which the French King shall be obliged, in case of the Venetians refusing to surrender the fortresses, to furnish a contingent, or else pay a body of men, both infantry and cavalry, sufficiently strong to take by force of arms that which they (the Venetians) are bound to restore by treaty at the suggestion of their ally, the French King. Such a stipulation once made, securities might be asked from the King in the shape of hostages or merchant's bills.
The second difficulty lies in the money which the Emperor wishes to receive in specie and at once, after deducting from the total sum the debt to England. This, in the opinion of the Council, will not be easily obtained for many reasons, and especially owing to the impoverished state of France. Were the surplus of the 1,200,000 cr., demanded as ransom, to be taken out of the property of French subjects residing in Spain, she (Margaret) and the Council of the Low Countries think that it would be a more substantial security than any hostages or merchant's bills, preferable even to ready cash; for, after all, money kept in coffers brings no interest, whereas the sequestered property might produce at least 40,000 or 50,000 florins; and, if necessary, the Emperor could easily within one month's time raise upon it any sums he wanted, and repay the same by selling the sequestered property. To abandon such a course in consideration of the property which Imperial subjects may have in France is not advisable, for it is not to be presumed that the King of France, in the state in which his kingdom is at present, without nobility or resources of any kind, especially after the payment of the said ransom, will feel inclined, the peace once concluded, to recommence war; or, if he should have the inclination, will be able to carry it on successfully. This is the more probable that Frenchmen in this country, according to information received, are now doing their utmost to sell or exchange what property they own without our being able to prevent it, and will ere long get rid of all their belongings, which is a very good example for the Imperialists who reside in France to follow.
The third difficult point is the obligation of the King of Portugal (Dom João) which King Francis wishes to obtain, and the Emperor in his instructions refuses to grant. If so, it is doubtful whether the King will consent to restore Hesdin, the county of Asti, and the places he still holds both in Naples and Milan, or recall his army from Italy, unless he obtains previous security that his sons will be released. Everything, however, shall be tried to persuade him to content himself with the obligation of the Duke of Savoy (Carlo), supposing the latter will consent to sign it.
The above two points, nevertheless, shall be discussed according to the instructions received, but she (Margaret) should like to know as soon as possible, and before the meeting at Cambray, what is the Emperor's final resolution respecting them, and also how she is to act in case of the negociations being suspended or broken off for want of conformity; whether the Emperor prefers the non-conclusion of the peace, or whether she (Margaret) may be allowed to modify the terms according to the above ideas.
L'Esleu Bayart has inquired whether in case of the King, his master, being unable to recover from the King of England the bonds which he holds for the Emperor's private debt to him, His Imperial Majesty would grant him sufficient time to pay the said sum into his hands, giving as security bills of exchange accepted by Antwerp bankers. To this question no answer has been made, except that the matter will he discussed at Cambray.
The King and Madame Dangousmois (Louise), his mother, told Rosymboz and Secretary Des Barres, that if the treaty of peace about to be negociated was also to comprise England and the Italian princes, it was their wish to treat with the Emperor of an offensive and defensive league, as ample and general as possible. He (L'Esleu) has since repeated his intimation. The proposition in itself seems advantageous, and so the Council considers it; but nothing shall be done in this particular without the Emperor's express orders, and in the meantime no innovation shall be introduced contrary to the text of the Madrid convention.
Secretary Des Barres also says that in case of the negociations being broken off, and of the King of France attempting to invade the kingdom of Navarre, owing to the greater facility which the Emperor's absence from Spain would seem to afford him for such an invasion, it was His Majesty's wish that the truce should not be prorogued, but rather some incursion made into France from these estates by way of diversion. The scheme is excellent, but impracticable just now, for His Imperial Majesty must recollect what the Sieur de Rosymboz and Secretary Des Barres have no doubt told him about the state of his finances in this country; for in raising the troops now asked for, and sending to Italy most of the men-at-arms, the greater part of the money in the Imperial treasury will be consumed, and if the remainder is to be applied towards the expenses of the Italian expedition, enough will not remain for the other object. Besides which, the Emperor must bear in mind that the truce with France once broken, that with England will of necessity likewise come to an end, for the King and Cardinal have often absolutely declared that they will not consent to the prorogation of a truce in which France is not comprised, and if the Emperor has not the means of carrying on war against the French alone, much less will he be able to compete with the two kings. Begs the Emperor well to consider the matter, and let her know what his last commands are in this particular, that she may act as shall be most advantageous for the Imperial interests.—Brussels, the 26th of May 1529.
Just as the courier, bearer of this despatch, was about to start, Montfort arrived from his journey. As he cannot have failed to have informed the Emperor of what he has observed and done at the places where he has been, there is no need for her (Margaret) to enter into details; suffice it to say, that whatever orders and instructions he and Moucqueron have brought will be speedily attended to, and every assistance given for the execution of their charge.
A gentleman of Queen Katharine's household has also arrived with a message from her, to the effect that since the return to England of the person sent by King Henry to Spain for the purpose of obtaining the dispensation brief, the King, her husband, has recommenced judicial proceedings for the divorce more briskly than before. She wishes her (Margaret) to send to England two qualified personages to counsel and help her to draw out the allegations and appeals that may be required. But as the Emperor's orders communicated by the Sieur de Rosymboz and Secretary Des Barres is that the case is not to be pleaded in England or decided by the judges appointed there, no lawyers have been chosen for that purpose, as the Queen wished. She (Margaret), however, intends sending to Malines (Mechlin) to obtain the opinion of experienced lawyers in that place; and if the personage appointed by the Emperor to replace Don Iñigo has not yet left Spain, his departure should be hastened, for the poor Queen is very perplexed, and there is no one in England who dares take up her defence against the King's will.—Brussels, the 27th.
Signed: "Margarite."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher, pp. 5.
26 May. 17. Miçer Mai to the Prince of Orange.
S. E. L. 848,
f. 47.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 324.
On Easter Day, as the Pope was saying mass, he had one of his usual fits (le retentó el dolor) and was therefore obliged to take to his bed again. Everyone here is alarmed, and the Pope himself much frightened in consequence of Jovio, (fn. n3) having removed his own goods and chattels out of the palace. Yesterday his physicians gave him some mineral waters to drink, but as he did not evacuate they do not augur well of his case.
Should His Holiness die, which God forbid, there are two points of my special charge on which I should be very sorry to be found in fault. One is that of the cardinals of the contrary party taking the Pope's death as an excuse for quitting Rome, and holding the election elsewhere, for although the restitution of the fortresses, and the dread of a famine have ceased to be an excuse for such a step, I am afraid of their now pretending to be in fear of the Neapolitan army lest it should come this way and interfere with them. The other is that in a conversation held with some of these same cardinals, when I happened to tell them that I could faithfully promise in the Emperor's name that the College should not be interfered with in its deliberations, and that the army of Naples would not advance, I could not, whatever arguments I used, quiet their fears. It was in vain that I told them that should any attempt be made on our part, they had on their side this very Abbot of Farfa, and the rest of the Orsini, besides the confederated army in Puglia; all of whom might in such a case, come to Rome by sea much quicker than our own men could by land, and therefore that I could not account for their fears. "In cases of this kind," I added, "there was no better security than the faith given, and I could assure them that the Emperor would on no account break it."
This I said because Your Excellency's last letter was written in this sense; but as it is now rather old, and circumstances often change with time, I wish to know whether I am to insist on the same idea, or whether it would not be advisable to tell Ascanio Colonna to approach Rome, and allow also the Neapolitan barons of both parties to return home; or, again, whether it would not be better that none of the "fuorusciti" came, although in my opinion it would be safer for us to allow all to come back indiscriminately. (fn. n4)
The other point is the election of a new Pope. This is so delicate and perilous a matter, and things are so disturbed (revueltas) just now, that I can assure Your Lordship there is hardly one Cardinal of our party, or of those who profess to be neutrals, that has two votes in his favour.
As to the partisans of France and of the League, I fancy that they are more united than we ourselves are. On the other hand, I do not think that our votes are so numerous as calculated in the first instance. Colonna, Valle, and Siena, I fancy, will be glad to make an agreement between themselves, namely, the two last to support the former in case he should have a greater number of votes; if not, to vote for the second, and lastly for the third. This is no doubt a good commencement, but I dare not take the affair in hand, because, though I have consulted the Emperor and his Council of State thereupon, I have had no answer, and secondly, because His Holiness having recovered from his late attack, there is no excuse or occasion for me to act in the affair, except in accordance with my general instructions.
In the Emperor's letter of the middle of February (fn. n5), there is a paragraph thus worded, "Though, owing to the Pope's recovery, these letters will not be immediately required, We have ordered a copy of them to be made out and sent to you, that you may know how to act on such an emergency." Such are the Emperor's words literally transcribed, but as, owing, no doubt, to the Secretary's oversight, such copies were not enclosed in the packet, or perhaps were addressed to some one else in Italy, I conclude that the Emperor could only allude to Your Excellency, as the only person in Italy to whom instructions of this kind could be addressed. If so, I humbly request a copy of the same, that I may, the case being so, act in conformity with the Emperor's wishes; and let it be as soon as possible, because if the roads should be intercepted, as they have been at other times, I and my colleague (Burgo) will be perfectly in the dark.
I have been told that Mantua, Ridolfi, Tribultio (Triulzo), and I do not know how many more Cardinals, have commenced to discuss among themselves the future election, and have agreed to bestow their votes on Cesis; but the thing is kept so secret that I cannot learn the details of the affair.
As to Cardinal Santa Croce I fancy that he will give more trouble than help in this affair, because he is much given to God (porque está muy puesto en Dios) and he keeps saying, to whomsoever chooses to listen to him, that he will not do this or do that, even if the Emperor order it, for he is more bound to God than to the Emperor. (fn. n6) He declines to interfere in matters of the Pontificate, as he says he considers such intervention a mortal sin; especially when his own person is concerned. The other day I well nigh lost patience hearing His Reverence express himself in this manner; but in this, as other similar affairs, it is perhaps wise to indulge the Cardinal's particular mania, since we cannot always shape men's wits to our own taste. For this reason I am rather anxious, because should the next election fall on a Pope unfriendly to the Empire, as all the rest of the cardinals are supposed to be, there would lurk therein a great danger for religion. That is the reason why, as I myself told Santa Croce, every effort must needs be made that the new Pope elected should be favourable to the Emperor.—Rome, 26th May 1529.
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 7.
—May. 18. The Emperor to the Legate of England.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep P.
Fasc. c. 224, No.14.
Monsieur le Legat, mon bon amy: You will hear through Messire Eustace Chapuys, our councillor, present bearer, the mission he has for our very dear uncle and brother, the King of England, respecting various matters, and principally touching the validity and efficacy of the brief of dispensation granted by Pope [Julius] for the marriage between the King of England and our most beloved aunt [Queen Katharine], about which some doubts have, it appears, been raised in England. This original brief has been here carefully examined by the Bishop of Worcester (Ghinucci), and by Dr. [Edward] Lee, who have also scrupulously collated with it the copy that was made, and handed over to them. We trust that, after hearing what the said Chapuys will represent in our name, the King of England will relinquish any scruples he may entertain respecting his marriage with our aunt.—Barcelona, (fn. n7) —May 1529.
French. Original draft. 1 p.
19. The Emperor to the King of England.
Tres hault, &c. Credentials in favour of Messire Eustace Chappuis (sic) his "aime et feal conseiller et maistre aux requestes," going as ambassador to England.
French. Original draft. 1 p.
27 May. 20. Protest of the Lutheran Princes at the Diet of Spires.
S. E. Cap. c. Pont.
L. 6, f. 10.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
Follow the signatures:—John, Duke of Saxony, Sacri Romani Imperii Archimarschalius, Princeps Elector, &c.
George, Marquis of Brandemburg.
Philip, Landgrave of Hesse.
Ernest and Francis, Dukes of Luneburg.
Wolfang (Wolfgang), Prince of Anhalt.
The free cities of Nuremberg, Argentina (Strassburg), Constance, Ulm, Memmingen, Nordlinghen, Saint Gall, Landaw (Lindau), &c.—Norinbergæ, die Jovis, 27th of May 1529.
Latin. Contemporary copy. 2 pp.
27 May. 21. King Ferdinand's Instructions to Diego Lasso de Castilla and Bonacursio de Grino.
S. E. L. 2,005,
f. 29.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 290.
They will proceed to Rome and inform the Pope in the Emperor's name, and in his own, of the resolutions taken by the Diet of Nuremberg. They will declare to the Apostolic Nuncio and to the noble Papal Chamberlain, as well as to the ambassadors of the Catholic League now present at Nuremberg that the Pope really wishes to join the League. They will inform the latter that his Nuncio and his Chamberlain have positively declared: 1st. That His Holiness disapproves entirely of the recess of Ratisbon, because there was nothing in the deliberations of that diet against Christianity or Papal authority. 2ndly. That the sum demanded from him (the Pope) as a contribution to help the League is onerous to excess.
They will ask the Pope to pay special attention to the above two articles, and tell him that neither the Emperor nor the Princes of the Catholic League intend any detriment whatever to religion or Papal authority, but, on the contrary, propose to work zealously for the protection and defence of both.
On the other hand, the confederated Princes beg the Pope not that they may be charged, as proposed, with the fourth part of the expenses to defend religion and the Apostolic See. The Emperor, the King, and the confederated Princes have other burdens to sustain.
The Pope himself to keep in readiness 60,000 cr. with which to help the League.—Norimberga, 27th May 1529.
Latin. Contemporary copy. 2 pp.
27 May. 22. Cardinal Wolsey to Margaret.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P.
Fasc. c. 224, No.26.
Madame ma bonne mere, &c. Has received the letter brought by her secretary, Maistre Jehan de la Sauche (sic), for whom an audience was immediately procured. Maistre Le Sauch, who is now returning to Flanders, and is to be the bearer of this present, will inform her how glad the King, his master, was to hear the news, and how delighted he is at the prospect of peace. As to himself, he needs scarcely say that he is entirely at her service.—Richemont, 27th May 1529. Votre tres humble seruiteur et filz. T. Cardinalis Eboracensis.
Indorsed: "A madame ma dame, ma bonne mere Larchiducesse d'austrice, ducesse et contesse de Bourgogne et douayriere de Savoye."
French. Original. 1 p.
—May. 23. Micer Mai to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 848,
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 318.
According to advices of the 30th of April last, the Diet at Spires has ended its labours, and His Majesty [Ferdinand], the King of Hungary, is actually marching against the Turk. It has been there resolved that the Catholic [Princes and electors], and all those who remain unchanged in matters of faith, are to persevere in their purpose, whilst those who have forsaken (declinado) their religion, may remain in the condition in which they now are, without going any further, unless they choose to return to their creed. Mass to be again celebrated and divine service to be held in every town or village, except in those whose inhabitants have voluntarily forsaken that mode of worship, and refuse to return to it.
As at a previous diet it was resolved that all and each [of the German Prince, electors] should do on their part what was best for God's and the Emperor's service, which resolution was naturally the cause of many errors and mistakes, all the articles then passed have since been revoked, (fn. n8) and especially the one above mentioned, which measure was, however, opposed by Jo., Duke of Saxony, the Marquis George of Brandenbourg, two young men (mancebos) sons of the Mieburch (sic), also dukes of Saxony, (fn. n9) the Landgrave of Asia (Hesse) and Count Hannalt, all of whom voted and protested against the adoption of the said act of revocation, and the closing of the Diet, as well as against the tax imposed upon the country, in which declaration and protest some towns and districts (tierras) have also joined. The above-mentioned measures to last until the celebration of the Council, which is to meet within one year or 18 months at the latest. The Papal Nuncio [in Germany] is the channel through whom the above news has been received.
The people of Barletta make frequent sallies without being at all molested. The other day 2,000 of them went as far as Lanchano (Lanciano), which they entered, taking some of our men-at-arms inside prisoners. Negociations are actually being carried on for the mutual exchange of prisoners. Renzo da Ceri, the commander at Barletta, whose son is also our prisoner of war, favours the exchange, and would willingly give up all the men-at-arms he has taken, and perhaps some more into the bargain, to recover his own son; but the disproportion in numbers is so great that I doubt much whether the exchange will ever take place.
Some of the Neapolitan emigrants (foraxidos) have returned, and gone about with white crosses crying "Italia è Libertà." As most of them were armed with hackbuts they began to give trouble. They were, however, hunted down, slain, or taken prisoners for the most part. At one place only 300 of them surrendered at discretion, and the Prince [of Orange] has sent them to serve in the galleys.
Colonnese and Orsini are up in arms, and likely to come to blows with each other soon. The Pope has appointed a provost (bargello) over Campania with a force of 200 foot and 50 horse, who, if he chooses, can prevent much of the mischief that is in store. Meanwhile the Abbot of Farfa (Napoleone Orsino) is at Subiacco, plundering and robbing all those who fall into his hands, whether Spaniards or Frenchmen, fryars and ecclesiastics of all denominations, as well as laymen. Our Lord (the Pope) tolerates this, and it is reported even that he is about to give him a "condotta" to secure him and prevent further mischief, (fn. n10)
Venice is procuring money by all possible means, and fitting out galleys to send to Puglia, to maintain the war there until our troops shall be compelled by the rainy season (por la incomodidad de las aguas) to raise the siege of Barleta and other places. All the pressure put upon them by Theodoro de Triulzi on behalf of the King of France to persuade them to restore Ravenna and Cervia to the Pope has been of no avail; they have obstinately refused to comply with his request. They have lately built a galley with five sets of oars (quinquereme), according to the design of a Greek professor in Venice, called Fausto, who has assurred them that the said galley will be a faster vessel at sea than any they now possess. It has 30 benches (bancos) on each side, for five oars each, except the two first, which have only four. They have also sent fresh reinforcements of men and provisions to Ravenna and Cervie, much more indeed than is required for the keeping and defence of those cities, which, in my opinion, is a sign that they have some new project. Their men-at-arms have been for some time in a state of mutiny in the Bresciano. The Duke of Urbino (Alfonso d'Este), the commander-in-chief of their army, is at strife (ha entrado en competencia) with the Count of St. Pol.
The Duke of Ferrara (Alfonso d'Este) under colour of a fishing and pleasure excursion to "Las Miras," went lately [to Venice] in disguise; but the Doge and Council could not prevail on him to accept the command-in-chief of the armies of the League; not indeed that he entirely refuses to take it, but the conditions he asks are so exorbitant that they could not possibly be granted. He has now returned to his capital. Don Hercules, his son, has also passed several days in Venice, and I am told that he has obtained for Count de Montorio the command of 50 lances at Ferrara. (fn. n11)
At Nize the knights of St. John are arming five galleys and four smaller vessels. What is their destination nobody knows for certain, though the knights say that they are intended for Maltha.
The captains of the League do not agree as to the plan of the future campaign, and whether Milan or Genoa is to be attacked first. The Venetians are of one opinion: Mons. de St. Pol of another. Both, however, wish to have on their side the Duke Francesco Sforza with the troops under his command, but he has not yet sent them any. It is generally asserted that the opinion of the Venetians has prevailed at last, and that Milan is to be attacked first by all the forces of the League, but, if so, we are not afraid of the enemy, for Leyva is on the alert and sure to do his duty. I am told that each of the city gates has 10 gentlemen keeping guard along with the soldiers.
Advices from Lombardy state that there are symptoms of disturbance at Bologna, in consequence of an old feud between Pepuli (Peppoli) and Ramossot. (fn. n12) The fire of discord, as it was supposed, was fanned by the French, whose policy is, whenever they happen to be at variance with the Church, to create similar disturbances in the Papal States. It was in anticipation of these troubles that the Duke of Ferrara (Alfonso d'Este) was said to be recruiting men; the Pope knows it, and is afraid of him.
A rumour is in circulation that the Germans serving the Emperor in the Abruzzo are secretly in treaty with the confederates. They want only three months' pay to desert and go home, and whoever promises this to them is sure to gain their favour. The French and the Florentines were willing to pay two thirds of the sum down; the other third to be furnished by Venice. I believe this, however, to be a pure invention of the enemy, though the intelligence comes from several quarters.
The Venetian galleys at Corfu have actually sailed for the Mediterranean to join the French squadron. They are reported in excellent condition, and so very well armed and appointed as to be a match for those of Doria.
General discontent prevails in Italy at certain words the French King is reported to have said to the Venetian ambassador, in answer to his application in the Signory's name. Having asked him to think of Venice whenever he came to make his peace with the Emperor, the King is said to have answered, "I will certainly do my best in their favour (trabajaré en hacer sus hechos) when the negociations begin."
The plague has broken out in Lombardy, and both here (at Rome) and in Naples pestilential fevers prevail.
The warder of Mus (Gianiacopo de' Medici) has been lately much pressed by the confederates to declare for the League, but has hitherto firmly rejected their offers.
Advices from Germany state that the King of the French is trying to form a league with the Lutheran Princes against the Emperor. This, and the opposition offered here by his ambassador, when Miçer Andrea del Burgo and I applied on behalf of the King of Hungary for assistance against the Turk, bear sufficient testimony to the highly commendable manner in which that monarch uses his title of "Most Christian."
It is also reported that the Vayvod (Zapolsky) is about to marry a daughter of the Grand Turk, and that a son of the present Doge of Venice, Luigi Gritti by name, has been the negociator of the marriage. The Turk (Solyman) to give as dower the government of Hungary whenever he conquers it. Others say that the Bishop of Strigonia, called "the Five Churches" (Cinco Iglesias), and another bishop, whose name escapes me at this moment, are to be present at the ceremony. Many catholics think very badly of all this, and not without reason, because the father of Gritti [Andrea] being so principal a personage in the Republic of Venice, his son at Constantinople could hardly dare do all these things without his consent. They say, moreover, that the Turk is coming at the head of 300,000 men, and has proclaimed (pregonado) war throughout his dominions for three years to come.
The Pope is much better now, and is drinking mineral waters. The Romans, who the other day resigned in consequence of the new taxes imposed upon the people of this city, have not yet been reinstated in their offices. (fn. n13) Much discontent and confusion prevail in consequence.—Rome,
Spanish. Original, pp. 3.
— May. 24. Gonzalo Fernandez to the Emperor.
Arch d. Royme. de
Belg. Neg. d'Ang,
Vol. I., f. 20.
Though in a document signed by the Earl of Desmond himself, I gave Your Imperial Majesty an idea of what that Earl's intentions are, I will now put down in writing some particulars about him, and also an estimate of his available forces, of his person and qualities, and those of his people.
Arrived at a port of the King of England, not far from a city called Corca (Cork), where the Earl is by no means popular. (fn. n14) Many Irish came on board my vessel, and told me that some days previous a gentleman of the Earl's suite had returned from Spain, and brought him a gold cup as a present from the Emperor.
Sailed from the said port of Cork, and next day, owing to stress of weather, was obliged to put up at another called Biran, (fn. n15) belonging to a knight vassal of the Earl. Learned from him that the Earl was 25 leagues off, waiting for some of the lords of the land, formerly his enemies, whom he had summoned to the spot for the purpose of making his peace with them. (fn. n16) Dispatched one of my own servants with a letter informing him of my arrival, and asking His Lordship's pleasure as to where I was to meet him. Four days after this the Earl sent me a message by one of his servants to say that I was welcome to his country, and desiring me to go to a seaport town of his called Tingla (Dingle), where he himself would be before me, as he intended starting immediately in that direction. I must observe that the letter which the Earl wrote to me on this occasion was addressed thus, "To Gonçalo Ferrandes, Chaplain of the Emperor, our Lord," and that on many other occasions after this, whenever he named Your Imperial Majesty, he never failed to add "Our supreme Lord."
After sending a message to the said lords putting off the intended interview for 40 days, the Earl set out on his journey, and reached the place of the appointment before me. But when half a league off at sea he sent me six gentlemen of his suite with the request that I would go to another seaport of his, two leagues distant from the former, and help him in the seizure of certain French and English merchant ships at anchor there, adding that his galleys had already sailed in that direction two hours ago, and that he himself was going thither at the head of 500 men. Declined the invitation as cautiously as I could, my answer being taken to the Earl.
Next day, the 21st of April, I landed at Tingla (Dingle), and was well received and honourably entertained by the inhabitants, as well as by some knights, whom the Earl had left there for my reception. Four hours after my landing the Earl himself returned from his expedition against the French and English. He came escorted by 50 horsemen and as many halberdiers (halabarderos). He would not allow me to visit him, but called at the lodgings that had been prepared for me. The first thing he did was to inquire after Your Imperial Majesty's health. My answer was, "The Emperor, our Lord, is well, and sends his greetings by me." After banqueting for some time on shore (afuera, de la tierra), the Earl, his councillors, and I retired to my private chamber, where, with the usual formalities, I delivered into his hands Your Majesty's letter, and after its being read and explained unto him, he beckoned me to state what I had to say, "Since," he added, "full credence is given you as demanded by the Emperor's letter." Upon which I explained to him my mission, in English, the substance of which I afterwards wrote in Latin, and gave, by his direction, to his councillors. My oration was thus couched: "Galfrigidius, illustrissimi domini principis familiaris, proximis diebus venit ad Cæsarem cum suis litteris, et de sua erga cysarem (sic) singulari benevolentia summoque studio multa verba faciens, edocuit quanto desiderio sua Celsitudo teneretur arctissimam cum sua Majestate ineundi amicitiam; ut videlicet amici sui omnes, et quicunque sub sua ditione degunt, eos amicos ac inimicos haberent quos Cæsar prescriberet, et ex eius nutu toti penderent. Petiit etiam summis a Cæsare precibus suo nomine ut aliquem exploratæ fidei virum ad illum mitteret, qui manifestè cognosceret ac intelligent tum mentem ac intentionem suæ Illustrissimæ Dominationis, tum etiam sui ipsius vires ac posse, quibus etiam mediis ad transigendum cum Cæsare sit procedendum, et de cæteris omnibus rebus agendum, ut firma rataque essent quæ duos inter illos convenient. Ego igitur sum a Cæsare missus ad Suam Magnitudinem ut sublimitate suæ gratias agam, et suum istum animum complectens simul insinuem nihil esse deinceps quod a Cæsare sua non possit Magnitudo sperare, &c."
My oration over the Earl conversed for a while with his councillors, and then came up to me, and taking his cap off, said, that he was very grateful to Your Imperial Majesty for writing and sending me to him. He had applied to Your Imperial Majesty for help and protection against his enemies, considering that Your Majesty had been placed [by God] in this world to prevent one prince from injuring another. Though he did not presume to compare himself with other princes as to the amount of assistance and help he could afford, yet he hoped to be of great service to Your Imperial Majesty in that land where he was. He then began to tell me about his lineage, and the causes of the enmity which his ancestors and he himself bore to the English, as well as the causes and reasons which prompted the latter to be his enemies. My answer was that Your Imperial Majesty always favoured and helped those who professed to be his friends, and that if His Lordship showed himself such, I had not the least doubt that in whatever shape Your Imperial Majesty's assistance might be required it would be willingly conferred, as was always your custom to do on similar occasions. That my advice was, that everything he had just told me about his lineage and the causes of his disagreement with the English should be put down in writing and forwarded to the Emperor, that the latter might see the justice of his case and the injustice of his enemies.
To this remark of mine the Earl objected, on the ground that what he had just told me was enough for me to report to the Emperor, but on my replying that I could not possibly retain by heart all he had said about the causes of his enmity to England, so as to produce a favourable impression on Your Majesty's mind, he agreed and promised to do as I advised.
After this, having inquired about his forces, and where they had better be employed for Your Majesty's service, and what sort of aid he [the Earl] required in return, he answered in general terms that Your Majesty could dispose of him as he pleased in that country where he resided. Upon which I begged him to be more explicit, and say where and how he intended doing service, and with what force, that Your Majesty might be able to appreciate his good-will and more certainly rely upon his help. Both the Earl and his Council considered this request of mine reasonable, and orders were immediately issued for an official report to be drawn up to that effect.
Respecting the help which he (the Earl) required from Your Imperial Majesty, I was told that with four large ships of about 200 tons, and six smaller ones provided with good artillery, and having on board 500 Flemings, he would be satisfied. Upon which I observed to him in the most courteous terms possible that, in my opinion, it was unreasonable to ask such aid from Your Imperial Majesty before he himself had given actual proofs of his friendship, or done some signal service. Other reasons I alleged, which I omit for brevity's sake, and which had the effect of making him desist from his request, for, after consulting with his Council, the Earl said that my observation was very just, and that therefore he would only ask for the artillery and ammunition stated in his former memorandum.
I next asked him what security he would offer that his engagements with Your Majesty would be fulfilled, and that he would behave in future like a true friend and servant (servidor). His answer was that he had no security to offer except in Ireland; that he was ready to give it there in the manner the Emperor liked best. Out of Ireland he had none to offer except his word of honour, which was enough for any gentleman. So it was agreed that an article should be drawn up to that effect.
The Earl upon the whole entertained me most hospitably, often sending venison and beef to my ship. The person whom he hates most is undoubtedly the Cardinal of England (Wolsey). He owned that he had been hitherto the ally of France, and had in that country a relative of the name Mr. de Quindal (Kendal), a Breton, who lived near Bordeaux, and had served in King Francis' army; but he promised henceforth not to correspond with him, and to hold the French as enemies, as long as they were such to the Emperor.
As to his forces and domains, I am told that here, in Ireland, no less than four principal cities, of which Dublin is the largest and the richest, acknowledge his sway more or less. True, the Earl, himself, has no possessions in the neighbourhood of the latter city, but his kinsman, the Earl of Kildare, who is married to his sister, has many estates and great influence, though now confined a prisoner in the Tower of London, principally, as they say, on the Earl's account. The other three cities are Waterford, Cork, and Limerick, in all of which this Earl has many adherents. He also has great power among the wild Irish, and receives tribute from several knights. He has no less than ten strong castles in his dominions, one of which, called Galvan (Galway), the King of England has several times attempted to take, though unsuccessfully.
With regard to the Earl's personal appearance, he is 34 years of age, of middle height, very well spoken, cool and confident in battle. He is lame, having received a gunshot wound in one of his legs. He is known to enforce justice more strictly in his land than any other Irish lord, especially as regards theft and murder. His men are much given to these things, but show no skill in anything, except in braving death like wild beasts. Their arms consist of small bows and swords. They generally wear coats of mail down to the feet, with gorsals and halberts. The Earl has besides a considerable body of horse, and some among them are said to be well fitted for breaking lances. The men ride without saddle or stirrups, and yet do wonders on horseback.
Spanish. Original, pp. 7.


  • n1. Most likely Jean de Carondelet, president of the Council of the Low Countries, Archbishop of Palermo, and Cardinal
  • n2. See above, No. 8, p, 29.
  • n3. The celebrated Paolo Giovio, bishop of Nocera, in Naples, whose historical works are well known.
  • n4. "Y estauamos pensando si seria mejor que los barones entrasen unos y otros ó que no entrase ninguno."
  • n5. See vol. III., part 2, Nos. 637-8, with the date of Toledo, the 3rd of March; but as neither of those letters contains any allusion to this subject, it must be inferred that it was written before, about the 16th of February. See the Emperor's letter to Santacroce (vol. III., part 2, No. 637), where an allusion of this kind is made.
  • n6. "Que le va mas con Dios que con el Emperador."
  • n7. The day of the month is omitted in the draft, but as Chapuy's appointment took place at Barcelona, a few days before the Emperor sailed for Genoa; as his commission for bringing the treaty of Cambray to England for ratification by Henry is dated from that city the 29th of August, it is probable that these credentials were drawn in the last days of May.
  • n8. "Agora se han revocado todos y el mismo articulo, con contradicion, empero, del Duque Jo. de Saxonia, &c."
  • n9. "Dos mancebos del mieburch, tambien duches de Saxonia," says the original text, which must be singularly vitiated.
  • n10. "El Abad Ursino se está en subiatzano (sic) de adonde roban á Dios y al mundo, asi españoles como franceses, frailes y clerigos y liegos (sic), y nuestro Señor se lo consiente; y aun pienso que le dará conducta para asegurarle, que no haga mas mal."
  • n11. "Y hanme dicho que ha acordado al conde de Montoro (sic) con cinquenta lanças que le dan alli en Ferrara."
  • n12. Ramazzoto?
  • n13. See above, p. 14, No. 5.
  • n14. "Cerca de una ciudad que se llama Corca adonde el conde no es bien quisto."
  • n15. " Tomé otro puerto que se llama Biran, que es de un cavayero (sic) que esté debaxo del conde." Biran is Beer Haven.
  • n16. "Del qual supe que estaba de alli xxv. leguas, y que se ajuntava con otros señores de la tierra, enemigos suyos para hazer amistad."